Cruise lines and travel agents are eyeing a lucrative market as more consumers say they plan to take an initial or repeat cruise. Despite increasing capacity by over 8% last year, operators reported bookings at 103% occupancy. To generate continued consumer interest in this form of vacation, marketers will be targeting key demographics with unique promotions this season.
The 2011 Cruise Market Profile Study highlights what consumers love about cruising:
- Visiting multiple destinations: 56%
- Being pampered: 44%
- Fine dining: 51%
- Getting away from it all: 44%
While cruising appeals to all demographic groups, cruise passengers have a median age of 48 and median household income of $97,000. However, marketers target consumers who are at least 25 years old with an average household income of $40,000. Both cruise lines and travel agents can improve their return on marketing outlay by appealing to groups. Consumers indicate they like to cruise with spouses (80%), children (33%), friends (19%) or other family members (18%). And when consumers have traveled as part of a group, a honeymoon was the occasion for 11% while 10% were attending a themed event.
The economic recovery looks at bit uncertain at this point so cruise operators will be positioning these vacation packages with a value message. Over 17% of all consumers say that cruises offer very high value when compared to land-based trips. After experiencing a cruise, that number rises to 21% which bodes well for marketers seeking to win business from a repeat cruiser.[Source: CLIA’s 2011 Cruise Market Profile. CLIA.org. 9 Aug. 2011 Web. 16 Aug. 2011]